M&A Programme Healthchecks
→ The underlying need for health checks (also known as assurance reviews)
→ The benefits of health checks
→ A health check framework – covering six key themes
→ Tools to use when conducting a systematic review of your programme(s)
→ How to scope and align your health check to the stage of delivery
→ How long should it take to conduct the health check
Why conduct a Healthcheck?
Executive teams need to ensure their integration programmes are set up for success, continuously delivering expected results:
- Is our post-acquisition integration plan realistic and achievable?
- Are we following post-merger integration best practices?
- How do we know we are managing our integration effectively and efficiently?
- What level of integration risk do we have? How does this compare to other integrations?
- How likely are we to deliver our integration objectives and synergies? Are we on track?
- How do we prioritise actions to improve our chances of success; and how do we argue for the resources we need?
These are all typical examples of the questions we get asked and it is very helpful to have a reliable and consistent framework to answer such questions with confidence. We know from our experience, supported by much of the research, that delivering the expected value of a deal can be much harder than doing the deal itself.
Typical situations for a Healthcheck
Healthchecks are a good way to give Executive Sponsors and Programme Leaders an independent readout on the state of your integration. This is a best practice for any type of major programme, including integrations. They rely on a short, sharp assessment by an experienced practitioner, which culminates in a set of recommendations and prioritised actions to increase the chance of a programme delivering success. There are usually 3 types of reviews, aligned to where you are with your integration:
- Initiation: you are mobilising your integration programme – is it set up for success?
- In-flight: you are through transaction close and into execution – will it actually deliver what you hope, or are there significant roadblocks to success?
- Finishing: has it delivered, and what are the key lessons to be fed into the next one?
Healthcheck Reviews cover all stakeholder interests in the programme, including business, customer and supplier needs, and includes verifying that your programme:
- fits with the overall corporate strategy and remains viable;
- focus on the business need is maintained with realistic and achievable deliverables and benefits;
- stakeholders are being involved and business needs and expectations are being met or managed;
- skills and resources are appropriately deployed and managed;
- risks and issues are being actively managed; and
- solutions are acceptable in operational terms.
Our framework and associated tools for rapid healthcheck reviews are based on our experience of hundreds of integration programmes, as well as other types of complex delivery, such as business transformation.
Key Benefits of a Healthcheck
- Providing independent and objective verification on the health of a programme and the degree to which the programme is on track;
- Helping reduce likelihood of failure through the identification of ineffective processes, controls and risks to delivery;
- Providing a clear, prioritised checklist of areas for improvement;
- Addressing the need to demonstrate effective control and risk management both internally and externally;
- Providing accurate and detailed reporting which is not subject to internal bias for over-optimism; and
- Onward integration requirements identified, such as capability building or programme turnaround.
–What our clients are saying about Programme Healthchecks–
“Conducting our integration health check was a really important way to reassure our board that we were going to deliver our deal objectives.”
“We had not delivered as much as we hoped from a number of previous deals, so we were looking for a health check to highlight key actions that could improve our chances of success in our current deal.”
“We did not have a reliable and consistent way to ensure that our integrations were set up for success, so we needed a rigorous health check framework to provide this capability. We use the same framework during initiation and mobilisation, as well as at regular intervals in the execution phase.”